How Do You Get Calluses?

3 min read

Do you have calluses on your hands or feet?  Do you wonder how they got there?  There are a number of factors that can cause calluses to develop.  Read on to learn more about what causes calluses and how you can cope with them.

About Calluses

A callus is a thick, hard area of skin.  Calluses develop when your body reacts to friction or pressure and develops new layers of skin to protect itself.  Typically, calluses are not a significant problem; many people have them without experiencing any problems or symptoms.  Calluses only require further care or concern if they cause pain or if you are at risk of complications due to diabetes.

Symptoms of Calluses

A callus looks like a thickened area of skin.  It may feel rough to the touch, and it may feel like there is a hard bump under that patch of skin.  The skin may be flaky or waxy.

Causes of Calluses

Calluses (and corns, as well) are caused by friction and pressure on the hands or feet.  This pressure and friction can come through a variety of sources, including the following:

  1. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can cause calluses.  Shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or have high heels can put pressure on the feet.  As a result of this pressure on the feet, calluses can develop.  Wearing shoes that are too big can actually be just as harmful as wearing shoes that are too tight.  When your shoes are too loose, your feet can move around inside the shoes, which results in friction between the foot and the shoe.  This friction can also cause calluses.
  2. Wearing shoes without socks can cause calluses.  When you wear shoes without socks, your feet rub directly against the shoes, which results in calluses.  Wearing socks that don’t fit well or slip down can also cause calluses.
  3. Hobbies that involve repetitive actions can cause calluses.  Anything from gripping a golf club to playing a clarinet to holding a hammer can result in the development of calluses.

Risk Factors for Calluses

You are more likely to develop calluses if you have other foot conditions, such as bunions, hammertoes, or bone spurs.  Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly and wearing shoes without socks also contributes to the development of calluses.

Caring for Calluses

  1. Trim your toenails.  Your toenails are there to protect your feet.  If they’re too long, they press against your shoes, forcing your toe to bend and rub against your shoes.  This can cause a callus to develop.  Your toenails should not extend past the edge of your toe.
  2. Soak your feet in warm water.  Once your calluses have softened, file them down with a pumice stone.
  3. Protect your feet. Wear cushioned socks & arch supports to help prevent calluses where possible. Your podiatrist/chiropodist may apply padding, such as moleskin, to protect calluses.
  4. Wear shoes that fit properly.  Go to a specialized shoe store and have your feet measured.  Make sure that you are wearing the right size on each foot and that you are wearing the appropriate width.  In many cases, calluses develop because your shoes don’t fit well.  Look for shoes that are supportive and have a roomy toe box so that your toes can wiggle around inside your shoes.  Avoid a narrow, pointy toe and high heels.

Note: Diabetics – be particularly careful when treating calluses. Always seek advice from your doctor/chiropodist before treating your feet, as a callus may be a sign that an ulcer is developing underneath.

If you have calluses on your feet, you could probably benefit from a new pair of shoes & an arch support.  Stop by Foot Solutions UK.  We have a wide variety of comfortable and attractive shoes for you to try.  We also have a wide variety of arc supports designed to relieve pressure on your feet. We’ll analyse your feet and help you find the shoes & arch support that is perfect for you.